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Bee Orchid – Ophrys apifera

Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera) is a perennial which is cream or yellow flower with furry humps backed with three broad pink sepals. The flower resembles the bumblebee with its cream and yellow markings, furry humps surrounded by greenish brownish petals that look like the bees.
The Bee Orchid gets its name from the main pollinator, the bee. To attract the bees, the plant has evolved over the years to produce a bee like flower, this then draws in the bes, which are naturally attracted to the flowers in an attempt to mate. Once they land on the plant, the pollen is then transferred to the bee, although the plant can also self pollinate.

This plant is often found on dry, chalky or limestone grassland areans from June to July. The Bee Orchid has a rosette of leaves at the ground evel with 2 leaves that grow up the stem itself. The stme has a number of large flowers with pink sepals that look like the wings of bees.

Height: 15 – 30cm
Flowering Time: May to July
Preferred Conditions: Chalk/Limestone (calcareous) soil and will be found in grassland, scrub and dunes.

Bee Orchid - Ophrys Apifera